Shah Rukh Khan’s brand power

MUMBAI: As the inimitable Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) turns 41 today (2 November, 2006), Businessofcinema.com takes a peek at the ‘Don’ of advertisements and his brand value in the market.

However, in terms of the endorsement monies riding on actors in 2005, Amitabh Bachchan led the pack with Rs 92.8 million (Rs 9.28 crores) as average monthly estimated spends. On the other hand, SRK was second in the rung with Rs 60.5 million (Rs 6.05 crores) in 2005, according to AdEx India (a division of Tam Media Research) estimates.

But that might just change this year! If one were to compare the total amount of ad monies that Big B and SRK have at their beck and call in the first quarter of 2006, the difference is not too vast.

From January to April 2006, Bachchan’s figure stood at Rs 34.9 million (Rs 3.49 crores), while that of SRK stood at a close Rs 31.5 million (Rs 3.15 crores) as per AdEx estimates.

With big brands such as Compaq, Tag Heuer, Videocon and Pepsi safely under his belt, SRK does have the potential to overtake the Big B.

Shah Rukh Khan’s tryst with endorsements on television began in 1999 with brands like Pepsi and Hyundai Santro. Brand Shah Rukh has had a steep rise over the years, which hasn’t really been perturbed by his box office success/failure ratio. While in 2003, SRK endorsed eight brands which had average monthly spends of Rs 8.6 million (Rs 0.86 crores); in 2004, spends increased to Rs 41.7 million (Rs 4.17 crores) with a total of 13 brands that the star endorsed. Whereas in 2005, SRK endorsed 21 brands (Rs 60.5 million).

His claim to fame first began from the small screen with serials like Fauji and Circus and then spread to the silver screen with Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, Baazigar and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge amongst others.

Some of the brands that Khan has endorsed over the years are: Pepsi, Hyundai, Sunfeast Dream Cream Biscuit, Bagpiper Whisky, Top Ramen Curry Smoodles, Mayur Suitings Shirtings, Videocon, Airtel, Lux, Himani Sonachandi Chyawanprash, Frooti, Compaq Presario and Tag Heuer amongst others.

What’s more, apart from endorsing corporate brands, SRK also lent his name to government campaigns like those of Pulse Polio Immunization, National Aids Control Organization, Unicef, Prevention of Aids, National Rural Health Mission, National Aids Control Organization, Swades Project, Rajasthan St Aids Control Society and Bihar St Aids Control Committee.

According to AdEx India, the total number of commercial brands endorsed by Shah Rukh Khan in 2005 was 21 brands, which is a 62 per cent jump compared to the 13 brands endorsed in 2004. In Q1 2006, the number of brands endorsed is 16, which is already touching 76 per cent of the figure in 2005.

In 2005, brand Shah Rukh Khan became the carrier of social messages for the first time. His share of social advertisements vis-a-vis commercials rose to 20 per cent in 2005, compared to a mere 0.3 per cent in 2004, according to AdEx. The total number of SRK commercials in 2005 rose by 43 per cent at 53,527 commercials versus 37,436 in 2004.

Khan’s endorsement portfolio extends across sectors – from two wheelers and durables – to soaps and biscuits. The first quarter of 2006 has already seen three new categories in his list. Computers and talcum powders are the latest additions to Shah Rukh Khan’s growing list of endorsements.

Brands that SRK endorses also make their presence felt in Khan’s movies. The latest case in point is Compaq and Tag Heuer, which were seen in Farhan Akhtar’s Don that released last month. SRK was prominently shown wearing the Tag Heuer watch and using the sleek Compaq Presario notebook in the film.

While the new Don’s charisma only seems to be on the rise, it remains to be seen who emerges as the ‘Real Don of Advertising’ among the Bollywood actors’ brigade!

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